Freezing Rain?!?!?!

Snowy-snowy Montreal is scheduled for some beautiful freezing rain this afternoon. Um, our flight is at 2:10 this afternoon.

No big deal, right? Well, it sort of is, because this is the current master plan:
  • Arrive at airport at 12:20 (my girlfriend is driving us, no parking fees!)
  • Leave at 2:10 (directly, absolutely, totally on time)
  • Arrive at 4:10 (save an hour, I love it!)
  • Meet M&D Scatliff at the airport
  • Grab bags at 4:25
  • Steal a vehicle 4:35
  • Head to Dauphin 4:45
  • Arrive at Grandma Baker's house 8:45
  • Join the festivities 8:46 (including a fun gift exchange that will wait to begin till we arrive!)
BUT!!! If there is freezing rain, we may be delayed. AND do you honestly see any room in the above schedule for a flight delay? Yeah. Nor do I. How long can you seriously make people wait to open presents? Even though they are adults, they are human!

Thankfully we also have an amazing family in the city, that probably won't be crying to have us stay over on Christmas ;) It's selfish - I'll admit it. Last year we had Christmas eve and Christmas day morning with our Winnipeg family, so we were hoping to spend that with the Dauphin family this year, because God only knows where we will be next year.

All I pray is for the journey to be safe, and for us to be with those we love to celebrate tonight. There may be a reason why this is the way it is. I've handed it over, let's see what happens.

Early Christmas present!

I just have to share this. It is so exciting!!! (To me, at least.)

So, the final grades for the semester are slowly trickling in. Yesterday I checked a course website online to my final percent grade. It's 84.58% Not bad, not bad. BUT, GPA grade letters are what actually matter, not the percent grade. The tricky part?
  • 85-100% = A
  • 80-84% = A-
  • My grade = 84.58%
As you can imagine, it has been a very suspenseful 24 hours. As Tom put it, "You actually didn't get higher than 85%, so I would brace for an A-." A smart man, a man that was trying to protect me from disappointment. However, I guess my proff believes in the rounding system because it was just entered onto my transcript as an 'A'!! Again, can I get a woot wott?!?!

Just to reiterate - you may have noticed that McGill Univeristy GPA grade letters only go to 'A' (no A+ around these parts). Meaning, this was the highest grade I could have received. Period.

To paraphrase a quote from a wise man I know (name withheld intentionally) "Anything higher than the absolute minimum to receive the grade you wanted was a waste of effort."

Welp, only 0.08% of a grade wasted over here!


The Old Hair

So, I realize that when I posted about the new hair, I didn't include the old hair, which would be an essential element to many readers.

Here's a glimpse of what it was before:


A day without the internet

The functioning capability of our internet has been sketchy-at-best, these days. However, all you had to do was reset the modem, and often you were good to go again.  Tom has been conversing with beautiful Bell about this, but no solutions as of yet.  
Then, there was this morning. 

Nothing worked. 
No internet. 
No phone. 
No connection to the outside world (besides the cell phone, of course)

I nearly went mad.  It's crazy snowy-cold outside and the car is buried under a mountain, and I have no internet?.I dislike driving on the best of days, so going somewhere was pointless, especially considering there was really no where to go (well, except to find some internet cafe...). The real bummer is that I had planned to do a bunch of work today to relieve the idea of having to do some in Manitoba.

I nearly went mad. 

"No worries," says Bell, "there will someone there to fix it between 9:00 and 5:00". Oh, so anytime then, really? 

Patience girl, PATIENCE.

This is what I did to pass the time:
  • Organized our wedding photos. Not a complete overhaul, but an improvement non the less. 
  • Organized my "My Documents" folder.  Needed to be done and was a good way to spend some quality time with the laptop. 
  • Finished making Christmas cards.  I know, I know, it's about time anyways. But this is a bit tricky with no glue in the house and a sloth that doesn't want to get her boots on and walk to the store. (Can you blame me? This phone dude could show up any minute and reconnect me with my outside world. I'm not going to miss that!!)
  • Tasted (scrap that, ate) everything remotely edible in the fridge.
  • Harassed my husband at work via cell phone a number of times. (What is Bell saying about it  now???)
  • Dreamed of the blogs I could write.
  • Read the Good Book
  • Ate some more. 
  • Took a nap. 
Then the phone rang. 
Seriously, HALLELUJAH! 


In response to 'blog criticism'

Recently Tiffany shared some criticism she heard about blogging:

"People only blog when they're bored and have nothing to do, when they're busy and their lives are interesting they don't feel like it, or don't have time"

I have to say - I don't agree!

I blog for many reasons, and boredom is waaaay down there on the list.

I blog to keep in touch with those back home without having to tell stories over and over again. Not only is this a time saver, but it also saves those who aren't interested in hearing about it.

I blog to keep sane. Honestly, sometimes blogging is like therapy. It lets you get it out - and somethings are actually easier to get out into cyberspace than in a face to face conversation. Unfortunately though, it's pretty difficult to get honest and full feedback from readers as appose to a house guest - but I am quite surprised at the number of e-mails I get in response to blog posts providing just that.

I blog because I really like it; whether I'm busy or not. Unfortunately the busier I am the less blogging I'm able to do, but it isn't because I have 'better' or 'more interesting' things to do. It's often on the busiest days that I wish I can blog the most. I think to myself "gee, that would make a great blog!"  Blogging material is all around us, whether it is a picture of a deck or dinner story - I've been interested in all of it. And, not to sound too cheesy, but I really value each and every blogsite I stalk.

I blog to feel like I'm connected with other adults, and with the outside world. I work from home, and some days that means I don't leave the apartment at all and the only person I talk to is my husband. Although he is super fantastic, blogging lets me tell my thoughts to others. I like reading other people's blogs for the same reason.

I read people's blogs to feel normal. There are others out there that feel the same way.

I read blogs for entertainment. Sometimes, yes, it is to fill time because I'm bored, but most times it's comic relief from work. I actually save 'doing the rounds' for my coffee breaks.

The Hair

Here they are, some high quality web-cam pics of the new do.


Wash and wear 
(this one's improving, don't worry):

Pony tail!!!! lol!


Growing Older

I will get no sympathy.
I know it.

I know it I will get rolling eyes, "give me a break"'s, and sarcastic "poor-you"'s.
But I'll tell ya anyways.

I'm turning 25 in January.
And this is hitting me.


I've been smart though - all my friends and family members are older than I. I've sent them ahead of me to tell me how it goes. Let me know what the road is like. What's the best thing to look forward to. But there is one major draw back to this. If I'm getting older, that means they are too.

Yes, this is the first time I've truly realized this.

It is the first real time that I've had to make some real plans for the future. Oh sure, there are times in the past that I planned out which university I would attend for my undergrad. Then, knowing I would be there for the next 4 (oops, make that 5) years I never had to think of it again for quite some time. Same goes for grad school, give or take. This time it was planned with my life-partner (I say that because at the time we were just merely engaged and deciding where we were going to move to). Then, after we moved on over here and settled in, we have been content in our planned little lives until the end of the degree. Now, the end is near. Way sooner than ever anticipated. Come the end of August, God willing, we will be done. Then what?

Now, I know I've mentioned before that we have been tossing around ideas of where we'll go next, and what we'll be doing there. That research and opinion-seeking venture is continuing, very actively, but I need to let out the realities that this carries.

I'm growing older.
And so is everyone else.
Life is short.

I cannot even start to offer life advice, for I know that every single one of our readers has more experience than I. I just need to let this out a bit. You've all been here. Every chapter that closes, you realize time has passed. I've been quite blessed, I've had things tick along at an adequate pace. I'm happy with what I've accomplished so far, and am very happy with where I am. I look ahead with great anticipation at what may be coming around the corner, all the while really enjoying the ride. It's a fantastic place to be, I've never been in a better one.

But time is ticking.

We strongly believe that we (everyone) have a purpose, put here for a reason, and, if you listen hard enough, you may get an inclining as to what it is. We are trying our best to strive for this, because if we live life for just ourselves, what everlasting value does that have? Honestly. Our lives are just a tiny spec of dust that passes, here for a moment and gone forever. What is the point if we merely live this for ourselves? Pointless, no?

Live life with a reason. With a purpose. With a Greater Power at the wheel. Make decisions to follow, but then, looking back you realize that time has passed. That every-few-year venture means that, at the end of it, a few years have passed, so you better make the 'right' one.

Does this make any sense to anyone reading?

Side Note:
I cannot imagine aging and not knowing God. Still wondering what happens on the other side. Fearing death. I don't think I'm dying, don't get me wrong, but it comes along with the packing of growing older. We are here for a finite number of days.

So, in response to this growing up thing, I cut my hair. Yep, this is my coping mechanism. I figured I can't live life as a grown up with my hair in a pony tail.

There's your comic relief.


All wrapped up and into something new.

The last assignment for the semester was submitted on Friday. Yup, you heard right, it's over! I'm not sure if anyone cares but I wrapped up the following courses:
  1. Nutrition in Developing Countries
  2. Health Policy and Food Security (in the face of the global food crisis)
  3. Host-Parasite Interactions
  4. Graduate Seminar II
  5. Statistical Analysis of Nutrient Data
That's right! I passed a graduate level stats class! Can I get a woot woot!?!

Here's what on tap for the graduate student world come January;
  1. Epidemiological Perspectives in Global Health
  2. Water, Health and Sanitation (Parasitology)
  3. Maternal and Child Nutrition
  4. Full-fledged big 'n ugly literature review for my project
  5. My project (Extending till August)

Right now I'm delving into my project topic, sorting out the whats and hows and whens and whys. Lots and lots and lots of questions. A little daunting and overwhelming (Merry Christmas to me!).

On a little more exciting note, I've also been hired by McGill to invigilate undergrad exams at the downtown campus. So, like a big girl, I'm commuting in to downtown Montreal and refereeing a bunch of sweating anxiety filled undergrads write their finals. Not only does this opportunity offer a bit of amusement and nostalgia, but some extra Christmas coinage too, which is nice.

That's some of the latest happenings here in the east.


Hard at work...

I caught Candice on film, in one of her quieter moments. She's got everything set up just so to maximize her productivity these days -- notice in particular the three monitors, the blue Costa Rican coffee mug, phone in hand, and everything else in arm's reach. I'm pretty sure each of her chair wheels is sitting on a specific paper for a specific reason, too.

Sorry babe, hope you don't mind me sharing these! :)


I know, it's been a while.

So, things are a bit hectic around here lately! I often think about the blog, and often ponder blog material...But just don't get the couple of seconds to write one. So, I'll give you some of the titles I've thought of, and a condensed draft of the post.

  • And they Keep Coming!
A blog about how awesome it has been to have had so many visitors out here in Montreal! So far we have had both sets of parents come out multiple times each, my younger (compared to the oldest) brother visited twice, the oldest one once, my cousin & her fiance two weeks ago, Candice & Nat in the summer, Sharla & Blaine yesterday... We've also met up with other cousins and aunts/uncles of mine in Ottawa...And even Tom's cousin moved here this past summer. And all of this happened over ONE year!

  • And They Keep Staying!
Our apartment is still the home of 4 SPCA kittens. We tried to take them back the other day, but they were too small (average weigh in of 1.76lbs). They need to be 2 lbs each before they can go out for adoption. Next time we won't let them go to the can before weighing in!

  • The Marathon.
If a marathon runner was one mile from the finish line during the best challenge of her career, would you say "You know what, you look tired and have worked really hard. I think you should slow down now." Yeah, didn't think so. So, on that note, please don't tell me that I should be getting more sleep lately ;)

  • Coming to a close.
This has been the utmost-bestest term of my life. The courses, the assignments, the topics, all of them have been so applicable (and interesting, which I'm sure is related to applicable) to where I want to be 'working' after I'm done this degree. The knowledge that I have gained over the past 4 months has been incredible. And completely worth it. But, not only has it been amazing from a topic point of view, but I have done better at striking a life balance than ever before. Tom and I have had multiple date nights, a few excursions to a cottage in the woods, trips to Ottawa, a scoot back to Manitoba for a wedding, have hosted many family members, and even took a trip to NEW YORK CITY!!! Yup, it's been an absolute blast. Praise God for the blessings we have received!

  • Gearin' up!
Now that the term is almost done, it's time to hit the high gear on my project! We have a huge annual meeting next week (yikes!), in which I will be presenting my findings so far (which means I better 'find' something in my dataset this upcoming weekend!) The process of getting something under way has been nothing short of a learning experience, and a true test of the patience, but I am anxious to get going and see what happens. Wish me 'luck'.

I have a few more, but maybe I should save some ideas for a more real post. Just in case I find myself bored with nothing to do one of these days (HA!).



Yup, we've been bloggin' for a year. Those of you who read this (and actually enjoy it) should thank Lyla. A year ago I caved. I've never had the desire to get into the whole Facebook-online-community type stuff, but I caved when she made the argument that it would help us stay in touch with those back in Manitoba.

And, here we are.
Keeping in touch!

I've heard a few people say they enjoy it, and to be quite honest I really enjoy it too. I've also heard that I'm silly for doing it (then why do you keep reading it?)

I highly recommend starting a blog of your own. I'd love to hear more about you! Some people blog anonymously, giving themselves and the people in their stories made-up names. Some people hang it all out there. I think we belong in the latter category. But no matter how we do it, we all start out very awkwardly, taking days to compose our first few posts and even longer to get the guts to post them. Honestly though, it's a good time, but I'll warn you, it's a bit addictive.

(Click here to start your own.)

If your interested, here are my first words of personal exposure, and the second ones are some of my favorites.


Being "Used"

In moving to Montreal a lot of relationships from our 'previous lives' have vanished.

Although at times it's extremely hard to accept, some friends are involved in transient times in one's life -- placed there for a reason, and removed for reasons as well. I can point to very specific and unquestionable relationships that have formed in my life over the past few years that have made an incredible impact on who I am today. I have no doubt that these people were directly placed in my life for those very purposes. I can only thank God for what they have done, for thanking them directly (although I have tried) can never fully commend the deeds accomplished and the paths that were laid -- and, although these people were the ones to carry out the job, it was never their plan to begin with.

We can all be instruments to differences in the lives of others. We probably never know when we are being 'used' for greater purposes, but I have become more aware that this happens. It is my prayer that God will use me at any and all times for the good of others and His perfect will. Don't get me wrong -- I am well aware I fail everyday, and that I am barely anything more than a bunch of shortfalls when it comes to leading a Christian life. However, I take solace that the Bible says, (in my rough paraphrase from II Corinthians, 12:9-10) "in our weaknesses, His will is done" (or I would be as useless as they come).

Why don't you let it be your prayer as well?
If you think you're unfit for the job, consider this...

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
John & Mark deserted Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a persecutor of the church.
Moses was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God's will.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Noah got drunk.

...And think again.

[List found online. Believe me, I don't know the bible *that* well.]



Chocoholic: referring to an addiction to chocolate (wikipedia)

: a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful (Websters dictionary)

So, it's official. If there is a definition for it in Wikipedia, then you know it's true. It's a condition. I am a chocoholic. I eat it when I'm happy, I eat it when I'm sad. When I'm nervous. When I'm excited. When I celebrate. When I mourn. At times it isn't even about the marvelous taste (because there *is** such thing as junky chocolate), I'm pretty sure it's really just psychological at times.

I'll admit it. I ate 4/5 a box of truffles over the last 3 days. "That's not that bad", you say? I've also devoured half a box of Hagelslag chocolate sprinkles (What can I say? I'm Dutch!) Oh, you are not familiar with chocolate sprinkles? They are stored in a beautiful box of goodness, designed to be "sprinkled" over freshly melted butter on slightly toasted bread. The warm bread melts the chocolate, just a little, then the melty goodness happenings complete themselves in your mouth upon each bite. (After typing this I'm gonna have to go eat another...)

Yesterday, I ate 5 slices of bread with this ooy gooy goodness 'spinkled' ('poured' is probably a better word to use here, or maybe 'drenched'?) on top. Yes, this is in addition to the truffle fiesta that I've had going on.

These chocoholic phases come and go. I hope it "go"es soon, or I will be adding a wieght loss ticker to my blog too.

Does anyone out there have a cure? Beleive me, these happening are not the cute "oh I just loooove *enter cliche item here,* I'm addicted to it." No people, I've been known to get a bit scary during cravings when there is no chocolate in sight.

"Physiological symptoms upon withdrawal...
substance known by the user to be harmful."



New York, NEW YORK!!!

That's right...We went to NYC for the weekend!!!

For my mom's birthday, my dad, Tom, and I surprised her with a weekend trip to New York City. They flew to Montreal on Saturday (she knew she was coming to Montreal) then we whisked her away to NYC. She was super surprised, and all four of us had an amazing weekend.

We took the commuter train in,

and rolled into Grand Central Station.

Then we visited the Rockefeller Plaza (with the skating rink and all),

hopped the subway to Central Park,

and made our way to Ground Zero of the World Trade Center.

(No pic warranted.)

We had a NYC hot dog from a street vendor (how could you not?),

went up the Empire State Building (86 floors!!),

shopped at Macy's,

cruised Madison Ave.,


Took a cab through Times Square (note the neon NYPD kiosk)

to get to our dinner cruise that circled the Statue of Liberty, went under the Brooklyn Bridge, etc, while we dined and danced!

Awesome trip!
Happy birthday mom - thanks for spending it with us!!



Last night (our last night on the road!) we stayed in Ottawa with my cousin and her husband. It was nice to see familiar faces (and great home-cooked food!) We took off just after brunch this morning and headed 'home' for the first time. Oh the anticipation and excitement as we were driving our last two hours! I remember kind of not wanting to be there yet. With the bazillion changes in our lives over the last couple of weeks (both quit our jobs, got married, traveled, moved out of where we called home) we finally had a 'constant'- and that was the cab of the Uhaul truck.

After crossing the boarder to Quebec and seeing the signs switch to French, we knew we weren't in Kansas anymore! I remember coming over a hill and seeing a glimps of Montreal. Our new home!! [Did I mention that the both of us had only been here for about 30 hours before??? We were engaged for just 5 days when we boarded the plane to Montreal for my interviews for graduate school.]

We arrived. We stood outside our apartment block and met up with the building manager. I was a little anxious to see what our place looked like (I found it online and we signed a lease from afar, with only seeing pictures of one like it.) After checking it out (and doing a little dance!) I flew back downstairs to tell Tom that "God blessed us with a fantastic apartment for our first home!" I was thrilled.

We were home.



By far the looooongest day.




Although it doesn't seem that far, we made it from Upsula to Wawa (476kms). The driving conditions were extremely poor all day. Imagine driving through the rock terrain with a huge Uhual in ice/snow/slush with truckers coming at you. Originally we planned to be at Sudbury for our second night, but considering the roads were rough enough that they closed the number one hiway (we were traveling on), I was soooo happy to get checked into a motel.

Quite honestly, we didn't really care when we got to Montreal. Although it probably doesn't sound like it, we were enjoying the road, and the journey. It's not like we had jobs to get to or anything. Both unemployed, essentially homeless, and carrying all our stuff with us.

Wait, isn't that the definition of gypsy?

Wordless Wednesday

Today, we woke in Upsula.

Although we wanted to make it to Thunder Bay on the first night, we were exhausted, it was dark, and now starting to drizzle. We decided to stop at the next roadside motel; and that was in Upsala. We had made 560km on our first lag. (Not too bad for leaving town around 1:00pm and driving a monster.) The 17 foot Uhaul plus car combo was quite the deal to maneuver. It was nice of the keeper to let us park it in front, but I think he was kind of using the contraption as a "yes, we are open" sign to other travelers wanting to get out of the beginning rain.

When we woke this morning - we saw white.
Everything was snow covered.

And remember that rain that started last night? Well, those droplets were still around - just preserved in a frozen state under a blanket of snow. Snow had *not* hit in Manitoba this year yet. Well, we didn't think so anyways (we were gone for a week). So, no, we didn't have anything as useful as a snowbrush with us. I remember taking my sleeve and going around to all the brake lights, side mirrors, etc, trying to get the snow and layer of ice off. It was cold (like we honestly had our winter coats, mitts or anything of the sort with us in the cab!) My newbie husband took continual loads of 'stuff' that we hauled into the motel room last night back to the truck. We had brought our most-valuables in for the night, thinking that if the truck was stolen, we could actually survive, with sentimental value.

After we were all loaded up, we set off on day two.

(Honestly though, I would have been more than happy just staying there for another night, or heck, all winter if we had to.)


Today, we left.

Last year, November 4th, 2007, Tom and Candice Scatliff finished packing their Uhaul, and said goodbye.

I remember the morning like it was yesterday. It was Sunday, we had stayed the night at Tom's parents and they had a farewell breakfast for us in the morning. Imagine - a house full of siblings(-in-law), nieces and nephews (which I just, just began to have as nieces and nephews), and M&D Scatliff. I remember how everyone lined up at the door, children and all, one by one for a final hug. We drove away watching little hands and big hands waving through the side view mirror.

We drove the truck into the city and went to WEFC for church. My parents met up with us there (they drove in all the way from Dauphin to see us off that morning). My mother and I barely heard a word the pastor said the whole service - knowing after it was over, we'd be heading to a new province. We said good-bye to friends, church-family, and to my parents.

Before heading out of town we had to swing by Tom's old place (his brother's house), to pick up some things we had forgotten. Knowing his brother should still be at his parents, we figured the emotional rush would be over. I distinctly remember opening up the front door to leave, and meeting face to face with his bro. This guy was especially hard for us to let go of. Not only is he family, but also a great friend (to Tom for more years then I, but to the both of us none the less). We had grown so close to him over the trials of the previous year. He was the best man at our wedding, a label he suited well. When we got into the Uhaul truck for the last time in Manitoba, I turned to Tom, pointed to the third seat in the cab and through my tears asked, "Can we take him with us?" The answer was no.

Then, the two newly-weds of just 15 days, drove out of Winnipeg, and headed east.


Mission: Global - A Light for the Nations

Tom and I are very exited to be attending a Christian mission conference this weekend (Missions Globales) in Montreal. For those of you who have attended Winnipeg's Missionfest, it's pretty much the same thing.

This year in Montreal there will be 75 exhibitors, representing all sorts of ministries working in all areas of the globe; from Africa, to Columbia, to Montreal's downtown, to Canada's north. We were very inspired by Missionfest 2007 in Winnipeg a few Februaries ago, and we are very excited that one is coming to Montreal at such a timely-time!

And, for you Winnipegers, the next Missionfest is being held on the weekend of February 6-8, 2009, at Grant Memorial Church. You should go, but watch out, it's inspiring!


Well, I guess that's what you get for marrying an engineer.

Has anyone else been here?

It's the middle of the night, and you wake up super-parched. You would just love a drink of water, but you know that would entail sitting up, fishing around for the water bottle, taking off the cap, drinking, then doing the whole thing in reverse. When I think of all these grueling steps I would have to take, often I just go back to sleep and let my tongue shrivel up a little more.
I need a 'hamster system'. Those silly little fur-balls have it so good - if they're thirsty all they have to do is roll over and touch their tongue to a tube and out comes the water. No sitting up, no nothing. I told Tom this and, well...

Look at what I found rigged up in our bedroom...

Yes, a 'Hamster System.'
That beautiful long tube, complete with a squeeze-tip end, can be holstered to the side of the bed - inches from the hamster. All she has to do is roll over...


Even if you don't love the man, you got to love the marketing.

Politics is probably the last place I should take this blog. But I just gotta tell you about Obama's "American Stories, American Solutions" 30min ad campaign I just finished watching. (Why I found myself watching this is another story.)
Wow - like I said, even if you don't care for the guy (or what he stands for), you do really have to applaud his marketing department.

So, if you have (more than) a few minutes, and what to hear one (heck of a bias, totally appealing-to-the-motions, very well executed, tear-jerking) side of the story - then check this out.

But if you do, have a Kleenex handy.

Click here to watch it on YouTube.

(Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement, I just think the marketing is fantastic.)


Makin' Big Plans

It was a year ago today that Tom and I returned from our honeymoon, and immediately started packing for Montreal. I remember the excitement, the emotion...definitely some great blogging material, but maybe for another day.

It's been a year since then, I'm now a month away from completing the first year of my masters, and an anticipated 10 months (that all go perfectly smoothly and exactly as planned) away form completing the degree; according to our 'grand plan', that is.

Lately we have been dreaming of plans for the future. The future being when this degree is wrapped up. Will we stay, will we go? If we go, where do we go? For how long? What will we do?

We've come up with more than a few ideas, along with hows and for how longs and how we will get there, but we need to constantly remind ourselves that these plans cannot be for merely selfish reasons. This isn't about us. These can't be our plans, actually.

This is written in the book of James, chapter 4, verse 13-17;

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." [Emphasis mine].


Getting better, thank you.

Much to everyone's relief, I'm on the upswing.

Isn't it amazing that we can so quickly go to taking things for granted after knowing the other side? I'm so thrilled in being able to function in daily tasks.

Thank God.


Enough radiation for a decade

Last night I finally had my MRI - the last of the tests for my bizarre spring 'incident'. 

How come no one told me I would be in this a super loud radiation machine for over a half an hour??? I thought it was going to be more like the CT scan - quick and painless.

Speaking of pain...Guess what?!? The test triggered a near-migraine. Yup, I was ill again last night. The feelings of pain and nausea from motion and light brought back a flood of memories from the spring. Tom and I followed the neurologists orders of what to do at onset --> it has worked pretty well so far. 

So, for the evening we were brought back to the spring; both of us a little anxious to see what the morning would bring. Tom even got up in the night to follow the "prevention protocol". The fact that I'm up and working away this morning is nothing but great news - but the leering tingling over head is nothing to make a joke out of I guess. So, I'm forced to slow down -  at a time that it is, seriously, impossible to do so. 

"This is *not* the time for this! I *can't* slow down." [I won't even trivialize you with the insane amount of work that must be accomplished over the next two weeks.]

Then I have to really think - really remember the fear in my husband's eyes, the dependence I had on others to do the simplest things, like making it to the washroom.  

Then  I think - this *is* the time to slow down. I can't afford not to. 


A few little gifts

*Somebody* bought me a new lens for the camera! If you live in the SLR digital-photography world too, you know how exciting this can be. It's a 55-250mm telephoto lens --> translation --> it provides a much greater capacity to 'zoom' than does the original lens that came with the camera. Although it scares me to pieces changing them back and forth (usually more than once a day), I'm getting quicker.

I'm excited about this lens, and about getting into photography. I feel really supported by Tom's encouragement. Before, I thought it was more of a "oh, that's nice dear" thing when I would tell him about the latest leaf I took a picture of, but now that he brought me this gift I take him for serious (I also feel a little pressure to produce better shots now that I have another tool in my camera case!).

But, I had a bit of a problem. You see, cooperative practice subjects are hard to find sometimes, and T doesn't enjoy a flash in his eyes every ten seconds when I'm learning how to adjust the settings - nor does he enjoy producing a fake genuine-smile on demand. So, to get around this little issue, I bought him a distracting toy to play with while I take his picture. And believe me, in this photo, this is no fake smile...

Yes, it *is* ironic that this shot is out of focus, but hey - it's what I got!


Back to the Woods

We headed back to the Gatineau this past weekend to spent another night in a cute little cabin to celebrate our anniversary. This one was *much* more primitive than the last, but isn't it super cute?

The only heat we had was a wood stove, which worked out fine considering I had a woods-man with me (who actually woke every few hours during the night to throw another log on the fire!). We had a blast, didn't freeze to death, and enjoyed watching our wedding videos projected onto the A-frame ceiling of the cabin.

I just love fall!




No words can express the joy I felt on our wedding day, one year ago today, or every day that has since passed. My love for you has grown ever deeper and truer with time...I love you more than yesterday, and I know that it will be even greater tomorrow. Thank you for being such an amazing husband - provider, protector, anchor, supporter, encourager, counselor... Thank you for catching me when I fall, never dwelling on what tripped me, but always encouraging me to try again and offering a hand to tackle it together.

I thank God for you everyday, and if it be His will, we will grow old together.

Your Wife of One Year

I am excited to see where the future will take us,
but never before have I enjoyed a journey so much.


No more scaredy-cats

It's funny how it doesn't take them long to move
from hiding under your bed,
to taking over your bed.



Well, now that we have all the ingredients to foster cats again, we headed off to the SPCA on Monday evening. We are now the proud foster parents of two 3-month old kittens. Tom named one Maxwell, and I named one Maxine. Go figure.

These are the first two kitties from the SPCA that were scaredy-cats upon arrival. We are often on a kitten hunt when it's time for bed, a check up, a pat, well anything really. Looks like I have some work to do 'socializing' these two little ones. It's kind of sad actually, being so scared of life at such a young age.

I present to you... Maxwell

And Maxine

Mind the dust under our bed.